Ferment-Posting - Koji, Kilju and Käse (Cheese)

Our remote participant @theyrneh is stuck in Tokyo, can’t travel back to Thailand nor within Japan and we now want to start some fermentation experiments together connecting Oki Wonder Lab to his hotelroom. Instead of him ordering some starters online, we are now sending a parcel of goodies, microbes, enzymes and rubberbands to his address.

We packed reasonable amounts of the following starters:

  1. Koji (normal) for fermenting rice and decomposing the sugars. Needed for Miso or Sake and many other recipes. We experimented with it a few years ago in Taipei, see some docu on the wiki.
  2. Red Koji, べにこうじ (See wikipedia) A new starter that we haven’t tried yet! Considered a prescription drug in the US. haa… let’s see what that is!
  3. Kilju - Super Hiiva - Turbo Yeast, for making homebrew “wine”. Just mix sugar, water and add the Super Hiiva, let it bubble and ferment a few days… there you go! A classic Finnish recipe to get drunk for cheap and a classic at many earlier hackteria events. Thx to Antti Ahonen and many other Finnish friends for introducing us to this art!
  4. Rennet - Lab - Chymosin (enzyme for making cheese). Only very very few is needed to precipitate the milk into the whey and the curd. (can also be used to make historic versions of plastics!)
  5. Ragi Tempeh - starter for making the Indonesian solid ferment speciality. Some documentation from HackteriaLab 2011 on “how to make Tempe(h)

We’ll add step by step more instructions and experiments as we go along.

Who else wants to join? @citrakirana.eli @sondastudio @agryfp_hack @mamaya @sanggeger @Ryuoyama @sachiko

Should we measure with a digital balance or rely on our gut feelings?

For making curds for cheese making this German/French instructions says to add 2-3g per 100 l of milk… either we get a very very big pot and a looooot of milk, or we add much less of that Lab (German word for rennet). it’s a bit old, date to use was 2016… so maybe adding a little bit more makes sense.

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I will be happy to make some Birch Sap (Koivun mahla) brew and some water kefir (tibicos) based drinks from my island in Helsinki this week (starting from tomorrow). Tis’ the season to be merry, well lightly bubbly Spring merry… There is also a chance to re-enact the SERDE.lv style Moonshine making process! I will gather some english language resources together this evening to share.

But here is a wikipedia link for Mahla (choose your language down left-side as usual): https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahla

Hi Marc,

I am very interested in the fermentation experiment you mentioned. It will be great to learn the process! Recent days, I’ve tried to find out the information of making amazake 甘酒, shio koji 鹽麴 , and sake kasu 酒粕. The idea came from using them for home baking. Also, I wonder if it can be substituted by Ragi Tape NKL, which is what I have with me here.

Two weeks ago I made some tempeh with RAGI TEMPE mixing with beans/grains/peas I bought from supermarkets. The process is kind of different from the Wiki one. I documented and attached it below.
In addition, I am also making yeast from dry fruits for bread. It till need to wait for a few days to see the result.

BTW, the kombucha I brought back from Jogia is happily growing as well in my place in New York. Glad to have several starters with me from Jogia.

During the third week of self-quarantine in New York, I started to make tempeh with the beans from the grocery store. Beans are one of the popular items that people would buy in bulk. Apparently, they are a great source of protein and can be hoarded. I tried GOYA" 16 bean soup mix" which has beans, peas, lentils, and barley (grains). It turned out pretty good! Along with the mix, I also used single beans.

To experiment, I tried several control groups:
4 kinds of beans, peas, the mix (beans, peas, and grains) with whole beans/de-hulled, adding vinegar/ no vinegar. 4 x 2 x 2 =16 packs. The results I found: 1. There is no difference between whole beans or dehulled as long as you soak them long enough to remove the skins. 2. adding vinegar to lower ph is not good with my starter (Ragi Tempe from Indonesia )

Surprisingly, most of the recipes I found online are putting vinegar into the tempeh starter. I tried vinegar with Ragi Tempeh and the packs were mostly moldy or no growth. It seems like it doesn’t like low ph. On the other hand, the first batch I made failed due to overnight drying. The idea of leaving them overnight came from the fail batch I made in Jogja: the beans were too wet and got moldy during the fermentation. Therefore, retaining water is also crucial for spores to inoculate the beans and grow.


Hi all,

Very interesting topics,
I’m very interested in the fusion of fermentation and distillation technique then which connected to the distillation in Indonesia.
I was researching about Batavia Arrack:

Which has a very complicated history of fusion including the colonisation, slavery, imprerialism, migration of people and of course the transformation of “local” culture.
Would love to hear more about what’s happening to Okinawa.
When we did some research in Taiwan (especially areas in Hualien, the local Amis people have a millet wine.

Sadly what you might encountered in Indonesia, a sugarcane spirit called “ciu”, is incomplete recipes of what was remembered as Batavia arrack, so yeah it taste not so good.

wwoooow so nice recipe drawing!!! I just ran to lawson and got myself an A3 print of it and it’s on our wall!
@shihhuisheri if you have more time, we could think to add a few more drawings of experiments we are conducting here, and you remotely make such beautiful sketches to complement our planned Oki Wonder Zine?

Been thinking deeper about that zine idea… as a remote collaboration. it’s nice that people can do something in one place, and we can “materialize” it remote everywhere (as long as you have a printer at home). Its nice to have something in your hand…

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Oh wow, thank you for making the printings! Next time I can email you the larger print files!

Yes, I would love to do the illustration for Oki Wonder Zine. The contributors can share the photos and explanations of their experiments, and I can do the drawing and words. Very exciting to do the remote collaboration.

I ordered Miyako Koji (dry) online, want to try to grow my own at home.

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Hi Sheri,

You made such a great drawing of how making tempe. I never use any vinegar for the process. I usually did exactly the same with what your draw. Enjoy the process of pealing the skin - sometime I peal them after the boiling process then the skin can be pealed easier - by adding the boiled bean into cold water and the skin will float - but then yes i need to boiled again (or I used former hot water - i kept it to be reuse - why? for pasteurization after the beans handled with cold water and our hands (it can be “things” also in the hands while we are pealing the skin) then after the second hot process - you continue with the dry process and so on just like what you draw.




Here is an illustration of Orek Tempe and Jangan Tempe recipes from jitsimeet tempe cooking on Apr. 26.

Recipes by Citra. The participants: Toru, Azusa, Citra, Andreas, and Sheri.

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I found some other drawing-recipes.

Its not a fanzine yet, but to come

Maya Minder

kimchi.pdf (508 KB)

kombucha.pdf (371 KB)

marokkanische Zitronen.pdf (371 KB)

salzlake.pdf (330 KB)

sauerkraut.pdf (392 KB)

wasserkefir.pdf (396 KB)

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